Starwood Debuts SPG Keyless for World’s First Mobile Hotel Entry

With a rollout beginning November 2014 at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s Aloft, Element and W Hotel brands around the world, patrons of the luxury hotel fortress can now use their smartphones as their hotel key. Dubbed SPG Keyless, under the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program, it’s a hospitality industry first.

SPG Keyless will make its official debut in 10 hotel marketing including Beijing, Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Doha.

Always pushing the limits and looking for new ways to entice, lure and captivate guests, it isn’t a surprise that SPG Keyless, powered by the SPG app, was the brain child of their innovation team.

After all, this is the same company that pays attention to such detail as to ensure that the welcome mats at the W Hotel are changed throughout the day to reflect the time with, “Good Morning,’’ “Good Afternoon,’’ and “Good Evening.’’

Not only that, but once upon a time global brand leader for the brand, Eva Ziegler, did say that, “The target audience are the trendsetters – people who are interested in the latest, newest, hippest, coolest. “

So it makes 100-percent sense, that SPG Keyless would be launching with the W Hotel as one of its runways.

Modern Day Hospitality Is Changing.

“Not only does SPG Keyless alleviate a perennial pain point for travelers, but it also transforms the first interaction with our guests from one that is transactional to something more personal,” said Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is just the beginning, because through mobile we have the opportunity to marry high tech and high touch to transform the hotel experience in many exciting ways.”

The initial hotels offering SPG Keyless are: Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Harlem, W Doha, W Hollywood, W Hong Kong, W New York-Downtown, W Singapore and Element Times Square.

Starwood plans to rapidly rollout SPG Keyless to 30,000 doors, across 150 hotels around the world across 2015 concentrating specifically on the portfolio’s Aloft, Element and W Hotel chains.

So how does it work?

SPG members must download the app, register their smart phones and allow for push notifications.

After booking a reservation at a designated SPG Keyless hotel and about 24-hours before arrival, guests are invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless.

The app is programmed to check guests in, notify them of their room number and even let them know when their room is ready via Bluetooth.

With this process a guest can completely bypass the front desk (when/where applicable).

Bluetooth is the key with SPG Keyless, as it’s what communicates between a guest’s mobile phone and the hotel room door.

Needless to say, we stand in complete awe of this innovation (much as we were in 2011 when The Plaza pioneered the use of iPads in their hotel rooms) and we certainly hope to see it succeed.

Technology, we love you, yes we do.


Sasha H. Muradali owns the Little Pink Blog (part of Little Pink Book PR, LLC.) Sasha holds a MA International Administration with a concentration in Intercultural Communication from the University of Miami and a BS Public Relations and Dance from the University of Florida. She has been featured in Forbes, CNN and Business Week. Sasha tweets fervidly (@SashaHalima), loves Harry Potter and the colour pink. Find her on LinkedIn, get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook.

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